Learn the warning signs and symptoms of heart failure.
Heart failure is one of the most common heart diseases in the
U.S., with more than 960,000 new cases reported annually and
one in eight deaths including HF as a contributing cause. Total
medical and indirect costs (loss of productivity at work and at
home, premature mortality losses) are projected to increase from
$30.7 billion in 2012 to $69.7 billion in 2030.
Because of this, the American Heart Association has launched a
national campaign aimed at changing the course of this disease
through awareness, education and support.
Rise Above HF, supported by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, seeks
to improve the lives of people affected by HF, by making a
measurable impact on HF by:
• Increasing awareness of HF and its symptoms and treatments,
• Empowering patients to take a more active role in their care,
• Encouraging small behavior changes that can lead to healthier
• Collaborating with an alliance of like-minded organizations
to implement strategies to support a goal of reducing
hospitalization rates by 2020.
Caring for a Loved
One with HF
Bill Dodd’s reaction to his wife Terri’s HF diagnosis
was “disbelief, dismay and disorientation,” he
said, “but over time I came to acceptance of both
the diagnosis and the life changes.”
He drives her to cardiac rehab and appointments
and takes Terri walking at the mall. “I make her
laugh and spend as much time as I can with her,”
“Bill lets me talk and say the same things over and
over,” Terri said. “It has been hard to accept that I
could have died, and that now I need a device in
my chest and to take meds every day.”
According to Jessup, caregivers have an important
role to play. “They need to make sure [their loved
ones] take their meds and comply with a reduced
sodium diet,” she said. “It’s hard to reduce sodium.
And to help patients not drink too much fluid. If
they drink gallons of fluid, they will always be filled
with extra salt and water and still be short of breath
despite taking a lot of medicine.”